This New York noir tale of a saxophone-playing amateur detective takes some jazzy twists
Saxophonist Nanette Hayes, a majestic five-foot-ten-inch Grace Jones lookalike with hot style, lives for the music of her jazz forebears. Self-taught Nan is no Charlie Parker, but she dreams big. She performs regularly—on the sidewalks of New York City. Not exactly the Village Vanguard, but it pays the bills in ways that her master’s degree in French does not. Mostly, Nanette just tries to stay cool in the face of the worst kinds of hardship. Recently, this has taken the form of getting dumped—hard—by her live-in boyfriend, Walter.
When her normally messy life is at its epic messiest, fellow street musician Sig walks up, and—after insulting her playing and narrowly missing being hit by a bus—changes everything. Out of nowhere, sixty grand that can’t possibly be legit appears in Nan’s sax. Suddenly she is contending with two grisly murders, a former lover who wants her back, a jazz-obsessed ex-con, and some scarifying cops who are trying to shake her down.
Equal parts tough and romantic, Nanette uses her street-musician smarts and her New York City savvy to try to save her own skin and solve a musical mystery no less a legend than Bird himself.
Rhode Island Red is the first book in the Nanette Hayes Mystery series.